This episode is sponsored by Bitsbox. Founded by two guys who quit their cushy corporate jobs and built this comprehensive learning system.
I want my kids to have an entrepreneurial spirit...shocker...I know, but it's true and so when I have an opportunity to pick up boss like skills for them, I take it. Heck, beyond taking apps, I create them. And that's just what happened this past weekend. My kids became creative kidpreneurs and learned some awesome entrepreneur fundamentals.
In this episode, we'll talk about...
How to make entrepreneurial concepts tangible
A way to reinforce lessons with doses of fun
The joy of seeing little bosses in the making
So I sat back and thought about one of the ways that I could help the girls continue to grasp entrepreneurial concepts. I'm always looking for more tangible ways, more practice over me being preachy cause they don't really want to hear it. You can say things to children, any child, and in one ear... out the other. But if you give them something that they can put into practice, that they can touch and feel it makes it a lot easier.
As I thought about what I could do, I thought about some of the different games and activities that happen in the world of science, technology, and math. Coding in particular. I've got a background in technology and so I thought, "All right, that would be the perfect thing."
I'm scrolling through my feed. I'm looking around. I'm thinking about what would be a good experience. I've heard about Bitsbox. So I partnered up with them. They help put into practice coding for children. I partnered with them and thought, "Hmm, this might be a good way to give the girls a true touch and feel type of experience, and help teach them some of those core entrepreneurial concepts. Concepts beyond just the science, technology, engineering, and math-related components."
There are some serious things to learn in coding, creating and bringing things to life. So I said, "All right, I'm going to take this weekend and see what I can do. See how I can transform and mold their little minds."
Challenge accepted...the road to Saturday morning
On Saturday morning, we got up and the girls were already very excited because the box had arrived a few days earlier. In fact, it was like a week earlier and they were super geeked. When it first came to the house all I heard was, "What are we going to do? What is that mom, what is that? Can we open it? Can we do it now? Can we do it now?" I really just didn't have the time at the moment so I said, "Hey, let's just take a sneak peek of what's in this box." And we didn't move too far past opening the box and the first layer, but the excitement was building.
The week continued with them bugging me the entire time about the box. So finally, when Saturday morning came, we fully cracked the box open and everybody went wild. Nyomi, Lori and Nilah my middle child, I told them all about it and Nyomi opted out, just not really her thing, the oldest one, but Nilah and Lori, the eight-year-old and the five-year-old, soon to be six, super, super excited and wanted to dive right in.
We get going and my first thought, "All right, well first let's look at the directions." I generally am not one to read the directions, but I felt like I need it to give this some due diligence. Plus I had two little ones playing along, so let's make this as easy as possible.
As we went through the tutorial where they walk through building an app, my eight-year-old Nilah, she was sitting just to the right of the computer. Lori was right there at the helm with the fingers on keyboard anxiously watching and waiting to do. But my eight year old was watching and during the tutorial, they show you some different things like here's a cake and here's a pie and then you can make it explode. My eight-year-old says, "Oh my gosh, that's so cool. I wonder if I could put like a person in there and make it explode."
And I had to pause for a second cause I'm thinking, "Hmm, that doesn't sound great" but let me put aside the object that she chose to make explode and think about the fact that her brain is already switching on to say, "Oh my gosh, what are the things that I can bring to life? I could do this, I could do that."
Her brain is starting to go through those motions. And that's one of the principles that from an entrepreneurship standpoint is so important for us. The thing that we want our children to have is we want them to believe that anything is possible. We want them to believe that they can bring to life just about anything.
Something as simple as color change is a real entrepreneur move
As we go a little bit further, the tutorial goes on and it talks about how you follow the different steps. The coding fill this red or this stamp equals this. And when it came to the color part and how you could change the background, it was my daughter Lorianne, the five-year-old who said, "Mom, what's your favorite color?" And of course, they know my favorite color is like this aqua teal color that I love. And she says, "Mine too, but it's kind of like an aqua blue. And I think that's the color that I'm going to make this, I'm going to make mine aqua blue."
And right at that moment, again, I'm hearing some concepts and fundamentals. I'm loving the fact that they are picking up and learning these fundamentals without me being explicit to say, "Honey, yes, this is what entrepreneurs do and think about."
The fact that she was super decisive and saying, "Okay, that's the color you like, well, here's the color I like and I'm going to make it this way." Awesome. (Click to tweet)
She saw something that was red in the tutorial and said, "Nope, mine's is not going to be that way. It's going to be aqua blue." Just having that ownership of an outcome is an important principle from an entrepreneurial standpoint and here she is grasping it. So I'm thinking, "Okay, great. We've got wins, we've got wins." I'm literally jotting down things, notes on how this challenge is going, in my notebook. One, because I knew I wanted to talk to you all about this, but I'm jotting these things down also because I'm thinking, "What are the ways that I can reinforce these principles for them even beyond this challenge." That way they'll continue to build and do the apps and they love, but I continue their exposure outside of the app creation. Exposure when we're out in everyday life. How do I help reinforce some of these concepts and principles so that they really, really stick and sink in for them?
Never too early to pick up boss skills
Fast forward to getting out of the tutorial, they finally started building their own apps. When it was Lorianne's turn, she picked one of the doggie apps. There was an app with a dog that was on stage and you could make the dog walk around and shake his head. That was the one that Lorianne picked.
I was kind of concerned as to whether or not she would be able to do it independently. Just given that she's five, soon to be six in a couple of days. I was concerned about whether or not she would be able to do it. Nilah, not so much. But Lori, she knows her letters but she can't read.
So anyway, we go through and her excitement is off the chart. She's looking at the dogs and there are lots of different pictures that she can pick on the front. She's like, "Oh, this one, I want this one." So as I help her through, I'm watching and she's typing the letters that she sees on the keyboard. She has a little trouble with certain things like the commas, the tick marks and the parentheses. But as we're going through, I'm helping her and even Nilah's alongside trying to help her, "Hold down the shift button, then press the nine to get the parentheses."
When Lori started on her second card, I noticed how she was able to easily recall things like, "hold down the shift button then press this one." Or she'd find the comma or start to pick up on what things should change. And right there you have the journey of an entrepreneur. We don't always know everything from the start, but if we keep going, we start to pick up little bits and pieces and we learn when our code doesn't run, which Lori had experienced a couple of times.
We may need help to really point out where we went wrong. Raising my hand as an entrepreneur, I'm sure you can relate. Sometimes we need people looking from the outside to help us understand what's going on inside that's causing us to mess up, to be an error.
Sometimes you need that as an entrepreneur. So having her pick up that skill of learning as you go, learning quickly, picking it up, learning from failure again, I am super thrilled. Writing in my notebook thinking and there is another lesson my baby girl has picked up.
Sometimes we need people looking from the outside to help us understand what's going on inside that's causing us to mess up, to be an error. (Click to tweet)
Independence is golden and when our kids find it...MAGICAL
We were at this for about an hour, 15 minutes and they started to get a little tired. Wanting to put it away, put it to the side. But a couple of hours later, my youngest Lorianne, she walks into the room I had relocated myself to. True fact, I was on my way to take a nap and my enthusiastic Lorianne is like, "Mom, okay, can I finish? Can I finish the one I was working on?" She had picked up a second one to work on and ready to crank it out. But again, I really kinda wanted to take a nap and it's something that I wanted her to finish completely independently without help for me. I figured the independent piece wouldn't happen so I really did not want her to do it. Selfish me. But she was so excited so I said, "Yep, okay, sure." Got the laptop out, got her set up and let her just kind of get going right there on the bed.
Surprisingly, she was doing more and more independently. Her independence had increased significantly. I think that just goes back to... "the more you do, the more you learn."
As an entrepreneur, the more we get our children to push past what they don't know, they will get better. They will get more independent. They will get that independence that we want them to have that all entrepreneurs carry. That true entrepreneurial sense of freedom. (Click to tweet)
I was happy to see that.
The power of collaboration, an important entrepreneurial concept I didn't expect
I had walked away from Lori and started making dinner. I think about 30 minutes or so into me being downstairs, both Lorianne and NILAH come down and they had finished the card but the code wasn't running. They said, "Mom, what is this? What's going on? What's going on? Why isn't this working?" And they're both like, "Okay, we tried this. We looked at this mom, like it says. It says this. I don't know why it's not working. We did everything."
What I'm noticing here is that when I left from upstairs, it was just Lorianne and I working on the card. Thirty minutes later I've got Lorianne and Nilah talking about what they've done to try to get the code to work. What it signaled for me is, my children have mastered, "I'm doing whatever it takes to get the job done, even if that means enlisting help." And that is a big one from an entrepreneurial standpoint.
These girls, Lori, in particular, really wanted to get this particular app done. This is the one where the lion would roar and he would say yum or he would growl or something like that. She really wanted to make it happen. And so she enlisted the help of her sister who she knew had some expertise and skills. Nilah could do this pretty fast. She had done the challenge card, all this great stuff. Now Lori had leveraged the power of collaboration to try to get to her goal faster.
That's a huge win as an entrepreneur, especially as entrepreneurs that are growing and starting out and even as you're more experienced.
Leveraging the power of collaboration to get something done. My girls had done just that thing.
I'm super, super, super, super excited about it.
And of course I helped them figure out their code. I think they were missing a comma or something like that along the way. And when that lion roared and said, yum, oh my gosh, these girls broke out and excitement went everywhere.
I was excited too because they had brought these few apps to life and learned so many concepts that I want them to grasp a hold on to as they grow up so that they have that entrepreneurial spirit and freedom in them as they move forward.
I can't say enough about just how, when you take something and make it tangible for kids, that you have the opportunity to zoom them forward. To really push them forward unconsciously and really build it into their DNA.
So I do have to do an amazing shout out to Bitsbox and our partnership...amazing, amazing, amazing win. I want to make sure that you can also take advantage of getting this type of experience for your entrepreneur bound kiddos.
If this is something that you want your children to grasp onto, Bitsbox is a great way to bring out your kidprenuer. Check out the goodies from Bitsbox available for you below.
If this is something that you want your children to grasp onto, Bitsbox is a great way to bring out your kidprenuer. (Click to tweet)